2007 — 2 November: time to reflect

Time now (07:45) and I'm gently pottering around and crawling into consciousness. I'm sure my reader will understand. My night again came to an end several hours ago. I have yet to discover how Christa's night was, though I'm hopeful it was very peaceful. It was certainly heading in that direction yesterday evening. Speaking to a nurse it turns out it wasn't brilliant, but things are now looking more comfortable. I know (because he told me) She fielded another call from Her brother Georg in Germany this morning, but it was very brief.

I'll be driving in to see Her after today's driving lesson.1 (If my co-pilot is up for it, this will be before lunch. Then we can come home for the planned bite and maybe go out again before dark — it all depends how She is, basically.)

Afternoon update

Lunch (quiche, sausages and some bread and butter and an apple) came first, because I had to re-sort out the blessed car insurance. It seems, until I get my licence, Junior has to be named as the principal driver (which strikes me as a tiny bit rich, but I'm sure he won't mind). Also, for some reason, my debit card payment didn't go through, so I've repaid, and will be watching my online balance even more like a hawk for a while. So that was 40 minutes on the phone I won't see again. I needed the body fuel afterwards, so on with the cooker etc. and we finally toddled in along the marvellous A27 route at about 13:00 and returned a couple of hours later, via Waitrose and the petrol shop, in time to pick up three phone messages.

  1. This is the hospice. Can you bring in her cheap wristwatch and tell us when?
  2. This is your GP. How is she? Give Her my love.
  3. This is your son. I'm bringing Natalie home with me tonight, but we'll have to go back on Saturday. OK?

To which the answers are: 1) yes, of course, probably about 6 (depending on traffic), 2) Pretty good, thanks. She's tired, sleepy, and heavily sedated but perfectly rational and calm and telling me what to bring in for Her and where it can be found, and 3) OK, see you when you arrive. Thinks: I hope they're self-feeding — I'm already knackered today, though I dimly recall that nice Shelagh has factored me in for supper at the bungalow tonight!

And there was me thinking retirement was going to be restful...


I began this diary literally as an exercise for a regular "to-do" and to hone my HTML and CSS skills. Being (at least by long association) vaguely a computer nerd, I also kicked it off on "Day 0" just as one used, say, buffers "0" and "1" for assembling and outputting double-buffered data to a line printer when programming an ICL 1900 Series mainframe at the "assembler" level to optimise its throughput. So, if you examine the file name of today's entry, you'll see it marks one complete year of retirement.

If I may, I'd like to draw your attention to "Day 0" and, in particular bullet points #3 and #4. IBM used (in latter years) to talk a lot about "work/life" balance. Of course, the more you paid attention to the "life" bit, the less (it seemed to me) you tended to get paid. But if I have learned anything, that "life" bit is almost all that matters. Trust old Uncle David, people.

Late Night Final

Just (19:55 or so) got back from my second trip to the hospice. Traffic going was typical of the Friday 6 pm crowd, I suppose, specially along the Ford factory — it reminded me of the mass exodus from the Fiat factory in Turin back in 1965, in fact. Coming back was much lighter work. I found my Best Girl sliding in and out of wakefulness, but She perked up visibly with some of the fruit juice I'd taken along for Her. She couldn't remember if She'd eaten anything, but it looked as if the tray and cutlery were unused. She's not currently in any pain, which is grand. And so time for a spot of downtime in the bungalow opposite while I await Junior's arrival with his friend rather later this evening. Yawn!



1  That was three-point turns and reversing around corners. What's so hard about either of those, I wonder? Did I mention the car is now fully run-in, by the way?